Don’t say we never did anything for you, Fort Smith Eats readers.
Sure, we eat at area restaurants practically every day. Sure, we carve out time from our days to write and blog and tweet about what we’ve discovered just to share with you, so you and your families can know what is good, great, or avoidable about our local eateries. Sure, we do this at our own often considerable expense, with no profit in mind, other than the gratification that comes from interacting with you and knowing we’re helping our community in some small way.
All this is true. But never until now had we truly realized the sacrifice our commitment to you might sometimes require.
A while back, one of our readers and early Twitter followers, @WendyWhy, asked us if we’d eat Hardee’s new fried bologna biscuit and tell her how it was.
Now, we like food. We like food a lot. We like high falutin foodie food and we like low brow street food and we like a great deal of food in between. There are few menu items in Fort Smith whose names alone have ever reduced us to squealing like a little girl: Ewwwwwwww!
But the mischievous Ms. @WendyWhy knew that Hardee’s fried bologna biscuit was one of those items. In fact, probably THE item that makes our usually steel Fort Smith Eats tummy go flopping around in our belly at just the thought. Continue reading
2515 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901
It’s appropriate we’re talking about Benson’s on a weekend. You’re driving around Fort Smith some weekend night, can’t find anyone. Where the bloody heck is everyone? Try Benson’s. Nine chances outta 10, the place is rockin’ like the back of a sunset-painted 70s van after dark.
The place is tiny and the parking lot is no better.
Look how cozy! We luv that you can watch the cooks so closely, & also interact with the other diners if it's that kind of atmosphere. (at 3 a.m., it is!) Cozy.
The sign has a much-larger-than-real-size brightly lit picture of a burger. There's a reason for this. They're great.
The White Spot
1701 Rogers Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901
The White Spot is one of those places you’ve likely seen, wondered about, and made a mental note to maybe try one of these days. Yet maybe something’s kept you from doing it.
Who eats there, you wonder. Possibly no one you know. But it’s a place you can tell has been there likely longer than you’ve been alive or at least as long as you can remember.
No, it's not a racist thing. We asked. They said they get that question a lot. The White Spot was a reference to the place's cleanliness, to distinguish it from the other "greasy spoons."
You see people going in and out of it, a couple here and there as you drive down Rogers Ave., an elderly man in jeans and a ballcap getting into his pickup, maybe a whole gaggle of them going in with newpapers under their arms. You can tell without too much stretch of the imagination that this is somewhere the reg’lars go to sit together over coffee every morning and talk about whatever the good Lord and the Times Record have provided for them to discuss.
A lot of things at The White Spot haven't changed over the years. Including the way the waitresses are always in motion.
That’s cool. Not a problem, glad they have somewhere they like to go. But what’s in it for me, you ask. The Big Question: How’s the food? What’s the White Spot vibe like for the under-70 demographic?
915 Garrison Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901
There are diners we’ll visit this week that have been here for years and years and years. Institutions, ya might say. Boom-A-Rang Diner isn’t one of those. The retrostyle Garrison Avenue diner has been here for — count it — one year. It looks completely Mom & Pop, doesn’t look like a chain, but we hear there are a pack of them over in Oklahoma.
Boom-A-Rang goes for that old 50’s diner feel. It doesn’t really work but we don’t really hold that against it. We’d rather see an eating establishment own its time and place and just serve good food but if records hanging in the windows make people feel like spending their money, you can’t blame the people who hung them for knowing that.
Note the original padded walls from when this old historic Garrison Avenue location was a sanitarium. OK, not really. But they are the best part of the decor.